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Don’t fear today’s supermoon: Experts

March 19 is the undoubtedly the best night to take your dear ones out for a moonlight dinner as the white orb will be 15% brighter 10% larger than normal. And if you miss it, the incident will repeat in 18 years.

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Ashutosh M Shukla

Updated: Mar 19, 2011, 12:49 AM IST

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March 19 is the undoubtedly the best night to take your dear ones out for a moonlight dinner as the white orb will be 15% brighter 10% larger than normal. And if you miss it, the incident will repeat in 18 years.

Termed supermoon, experts say the full moon will occur at the same time as perigee (when the moon is at the nearest earth orbital point). The moon, otherwise at a distance of 3,84,400 km from earth, gradually comes 20,000 km closer and then moves away.

“There is no scientific significance to this. It is a non-event for astronomers. It is just that the two events are occurring together. News about earthquakes and other things are all rumors. One can only enjoy it as being bigger and brighter compared to average full-moon days,” said Piyush Pandey, director Nehru Planetarium.

Pandey added, “After 29.5 days, we have a full or new moon. Perigee and apogee occur after every 27.3 days when moon is closest and farthest. The day when both happen at the same time is termed as supermoon. This takes a lot of time as after the incident, the gap increases by 2.2 to 4.4 days and so on. They come together again only after 18 years.”

Commenting on the local weather, RV Sharma, deputy director, Indian Meteorological Department (western region), said, “There is no change in weather. Moon affects tides, which is a common incident.”

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